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Detroit teacher fired after breaking up classroom brawl with broomstick

By Travis Gettys
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 13:15 EDT
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Young woman with broom on white Shutterstock
 
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A Detroit teacher was fired after using a broomstick to break up a fight between two students in her classroom.

The incident was captured April 30 on cell phone video that shows two boys fighting for about half a minute, knocking over classroom furniture, while others stand by and watch before the teacher intervenes.

The teacher, whose name was not released, then strikes one of the students on his back several times with a broom before he backs away from the other student, who then rushes toward the other boy – continuing the fight.

The fight finally ends when a third student pulls the two apart.

The Education Achievement Authority, the state-run school turnaround district, fired the Pershing High School teacher afterward.

She had been hired Jan. 27.

The EAA district, which took over Pershing and 14 other low-performing Detroit schools in 2012, does not have a union, so the teacher has no ground to file an appeal.

Keith Johnson, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, said he believed the teacher was wrong for using a broom on the students, but he understands why she did.

“Unfortunately, the method that she used, in terms of swatting one with a broom, is a violation of the corporal punishment provision under the Michigan school code,” Johnson said. “But she’s caught in a quandary because under that same code she’s expected to do what is necessary to diffuse a situation.”

A spokesperson for Pershing High said teachers have been instructed to call for security using school-issued walkie-talkies, but WJBK-TV reported the teacher’s was not working properly the day of the fight.

Kiren Lowery, who admits he was one of the students fighting, told the TV station the teacher was one of his favorites, but he doesn’t feel responsible because he thinks the teacher should have waited for security to come.

Lowery and the other boy were each suspended for 10 days.

Watch raw video of the fight posted online by WJBK-TV (warning: loud):

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[Image: Young woman with broom on white via Shutterstock]

 
 
 
 
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